During the AgForestry Leadership reception last week, we were asked to share our favorite thing about fall. I don’t recall anyone mentioning Halloween, but a few people mentioned football. For my brother, it’s both. He is definitely a super fan of both Halloween decorations and football, especially Notre Dame and Pittsburgh Steelers games. I’d say he’s a bit over the top, transforming his guests from Fighting Irish fans on Saturday to Steelers fans on Sunday. Katherine Webb-Martinez, a University of California employee who joined us for a portion of the Extension conference last week, is a Halloween super fan, but I don’t believe she combines it with football.
I tailgated at the Puyallup Research and Extension Center on Saturday. The game did not go as hoped, but the trip was well worth it. The program displays were well done, and many were excited to purchase a can of Cougar Gold cheese. Super fan Chris Mulick dropped in to enjoy the game — he is fun to watch because he gets very excited. I met a few CAHNRS super fans whose names I had only heard previously. It was fun to learn of common friends between me and some of the people I met. I know I am repeating myself, but I am constantly surprised at how small the world is. Also in attendance were a number of our partners. We truly have wonderful partners — I’m a fan! One of our partners even sent her mother and daughter to convey her regrets for not being available for the tailgate!
I am in Pullman much of the week. On Monday, President and First Lady Schulz visited the Franklin County Extension office to meet with leaders from surrounding county offices and learn about programs, challenges, and aspirations. The visit reminded me how fortunate we are that Extension is valued throughout WSU. That isn’t the case everywhere, so we need to remind ourselves every now and then that we are fortunate to have fans throughout the system.
The WSU Foundation’s fall meeting is this week and represents a good opportunity to connect with our supporters. I am also reviewing promotion and tenure documents, meeting with a few candidates for key faculty positions, and connecting with team members this week. Travel starts again soon, so I will enjoy the fall colors and falling leaves in Pullman while I can. After all, I am a big fan of fall.